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TX custodyWhen a couple chooses to end their relationship, they will usually need to address a variety of issues as they decide how they will proceed with the process of separating their lives from each other. While any type of breakup can be difficult, a situation can become much more complicated when children are involved. Married parents who are planning to get a divorce or unmarried couples who wish to establish their parental roles and responsibilities going forward will need to consider multiple different legal issues. While this is true for all couples, there are some cases that involve complex child custody disputes, and parents in these situations will want to be sure to understand their rights and the steps they can take to protect their children’s best interests.

Situations That May Involve Complex Child Custody Concerns

Texas child custody cases typically involve two separate issues: conservatorship and visitation. Conservatorship, which is also known as legal custody, refers to the right to make decisions about how a child will be raised. In most divorce cases, courts prefer to name parents as “joint managing conservators,” meaning they will share in the responsibility of making decisions for their child. Parents will usually also share physical custody, meaning that they will both have reasonable amounts of visitation time with the child.

During a child custody case, a parenting plan will be created that specifies how conservatorship and visitation will be handled. While parents may be able to reach an agreement on a parenting plan, there are some cases where disputes over child custody must be resolved in court. Some situations that may lead to complex child custody disputes include:


TX custody lawyerIn a high asset divorce in Texas involving minor children from the marriage, each spouse’s assets may not be equal, and the lesser earning spouse may worry that income or assets could impact the court’s child custody decision. To put it another way, in high net worth divorces where one of the spouses is the high earner or has significant family money, the other spouse might have concerns about whether a relative lack of income and assets could mean that she or he will not be eligible for child custody.

It is important for parents to know that the Texas Family Code provides guidance for making child custody determinations (known as conservatorships in Texas), and the focus of any child custody order is the “best interest of the child” standard. To be clear, Texas courts take into account a wide variety of factors in deciding what type of child custody situation is in the child’s best interests. While a parent’s income or assets could play a role in some of those factors, it is essential to know that a parent’s earning ability or relative assets are not a factor for deciding who will be a conservator for the child. A Texas high net worth divorce attorney can say more.

Texas Public Policy Focuses on Both Parents’ Rights When it Comes to Their Kids

The Texas Family Code makes clear that it is “public policy of this state” to do all of the following:


Texas custody attorney, Texas family law attorneyIn 1985, psychiatrist Richard Gardner coined the term parental alienation syndrome (PAS) to describe a set of behaviors exhibited by children whose parents deliberately attempt to turn them against the other parent through a variety of coercive or manipulative techniques. Unfortunately, PAS occurs at an alarming rate, especially during emotional and stressful divorces or disputes over child custody; as such, if you or a loved one has children and is considering a divorce, it is important to contact an experienced complex child custody attorney who can ensure that the interests of your children are protected.

Parental Alienation Defined

Parental alienation involves the manipulation of a child by one parent to denigrate the other parent, essentially forcing the child to choose sides. This can lead the child to emotionally reject the targeted parent, which can have lifelong repercussions for both parties. Many parents may even be unaware that they are contributing to parental alienation, which could include any of the following activities:


Posted on in Paternity

Texas paternity laws, Texas paternity lawyerAside from the many emotional implications of establishing paternity, there are also a variety of practical advantages. For example, establishing paternity gives a father certain parental rights, including claims to visitation and child custody. Unfortunately, the process can be complex and time-consuming, so if you are interested in establishing or denying paternity, it is important to contact an experienced child custody attorney.

Establishing Paternity

There are a few different ways to establish a father-child relationship, including:


Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas complex custody lawyer, Texas is one of only a handful of states with a provision that is designed to protect sexual assault victims in the event that a child is conceived. This law allows women to seek termination of the father’s rights through family court. Unfortunately, there are some key flaws in this provision. On one hand, women may attempt to abuse the law and deny loving fathers the right to parent. On the other, victims may be denied their petition to sever parental rights and be forced to face their assailant. Regardless of which side of this law you fall on, it is critical that you understand your rights.

Petitioning for Termination of Parental Rights Due to Conception During Sexual Assault

If your child was conceived during a sexual assault, it is critical that you take the proper steps to terminate the assailant’s rights to the child. First, you must be able to provide proof that the rape or assault did, in fact, occur. This requires a guilty conviction, which must be obtained through a court of law. In addition, you must be able to provide proof that the child was conceived during the assault. Lastly, you must actively petition the court to have the rights terminated.

Tagged in: parental rights

Texas high asset divorce lawyer, Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas complex child custody lawyer, In a development that placed the spotlight back on parental alienation syndrome in complex child custody cases, two missing teenage siblings were recently reunited with their divorced father whom they claimed was physically abusive.

The saga began when a Minnesota court granted the girls' father sole custody in a divorce proceeding. Shortly thereafter, the 16- and 17-year-old girls ran away from home and were sheltered by a woman who is a vocal supporter of the "Protective Parent" movement. Members of this group shelter children who claim to be fleeing from abusive parents when a court has ordered them to remain in the home. The girls' mother, who accused her husband of physical abuse and whom authorities suspect of aiding in her daughters' disappearance, was arrested and charged with two counts of felony interference with child custody and one count of involvement in a kidnapping.

A court-appointed psychologist concluded that the mother had brainwashed her daughters; the father has consistently denied any abuse.


Texas complex custody litigation, Texas child custody lawyer, Texas high-asset divorce attorney, In Ireland, a parent advocacy group wants to make parental alienation syndrome (PAS) a criminal offense. PAS is quite often a part of Central Texas complex child custody issues, to one extent or another.

The Parental Alienation Awareness Association defines PAS as a child's unjustified rejection of a previously-loved parent or caregiver, at the urging of another parent or caregiver. Although PAS is not recognized by the World Health Organization or American Psychiatric Association, family therapists have dealt with the condition since at least the 1950s. In most situations, an emotionally-needy parent offers the child warmth and extremely involved care in exchange for allegiance. The group cautioned that PAS is not the same thing as realistic estrangement, or a refusal of affection based on past abuse or neglect.

Divorce has only been legal in Ireland since 1995, so judges, barristers, and other legal professionals are just now coming to terms with the intricacies of high-conflict family law disputes.

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